Faculty Profiles

Kevin

Adams

Social Studies Teacher

Mr. Adams was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia, but spent most of his youth in Saratoga Springs, New York, USA. He majored in history at the State University of New York at Oneonta and received his Bachelor’s degree after completing a study abroad program at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. He then went on to receive his teaching license through the University of West Florida. Mr. Adams has spent the past 8 years teaching both ELA and Social Studies at private schools throughout the beautiful island of Taiwan in the towns and cities of Sanchong, Taitung, Taipei, and Linkou. While Assistant Head of Social Studies at his previous school, he most recently taught courses on Ancient Civilizations, Early United States History, Early World History, and AP United States History.

During his free time, Mr. Adams enjoys competing in endurance sports and spending time in the great outdoors. He has participated in numerous half-marathons, marathons, and triathlons, and has a passion for an athletic lifestyle. This love of sports grew during his high school and college years while playing American football and lacrosse. Both of these experiences cultivated a lifelong appreciation for physical health. Mr. Adams also loves to travel and learn about the peoples and cultures of the places that he visits. He believes that traveling is especially meaningful when it is through the wonderful form of bikepacking. He has gone on numerous bikepacking trips, the longest of which being a 7-day 800km solo ride from Edinburgh, Scotland to London, England. Mr. Adams’ future adventure goals include completing a full 140.6 Ironman Triathlon, hiking the Everest Base Camp Trail, and bikepacking across Japan’s main island of Honshu.

In the words of the modern-day explorer and adventurer Alastair Humphreys, Mr. Adams believes, “Adventure is just about doing something you’ve never done – doing it with enthusiasm and curiosity: doing something difficult with passion.” He hopes that you all choose to live the adventure of life just as passionately!

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." - Abraham Lincoln

Dr. Carlos

Argueta

Computer Science Teacher

Mr. Argueta is a Honduran that has lived in Taiwan for the past 11 years. He holds both a Masters and a PhD in Computer Science from National Tsing Hua University. Overall, Mr. Argueta possesses 17 years of experience in computer programing and research.

As an educator, Mr. Argueta brings 3 years of teaching Computer Science at High School level, and several years of teaching computer labs at National Tsing Hua University as a Teacher Assistant.

"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious." - Albert Einstein

Chad

Babcock

Business / ELA Teacher

Mr. Babcock is from Detroit, Michigan, USA. He has a BS in Business and English Education and an MA in teaching ESL; certified by the state of Michigan, Mr. Babcock has taught all 3 subjects over his 17 years of teaching. He taught in Baltimore City for 7 years before beginning his international teaching journey in Istanbul, Turkey. Now he is in his 5th year in Taiwan. Chad has taught students from a variety of backgrounds, grades 1-12, and has enjoyed working with these different populations as each present unique opportunities for him to learn and grow as teacher. He feels truly lucky to be a teacher: “I get to laugh and have fun at my job every day. Not everyone can say that.”

Mr. Babcock loves nature and exploring the outdoors through activities such as hiking, travelling, camping, disc golfing and swimming. To relax, he enjoys cooking, gardening, reading and going on walks. Mr. Babcock is very passionate about music and its history, especially hip-hop, and he welcomes a conversation on the topic with anyone interested. Lastly, he looks forward to exploring more of Taiwan’s natural beauty with his wife and dog as they continue to find new areas to camp on the island – recommendations always appreciated.

"The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be." - Oprah Winfrey

Frederic

Chang

College Counselor

Born in Los Angeles, California, Mr. Frederic Chang grew up attending American schools in Taiwan, which culminated in his return to L.A. to study at and graduate from the University of Los Angeles, California with a Bachelor of Science degree in Cognitive Science. Afterward, he taught and counseled at two international schools for five years before coming to AAIA.
Having had a similar school experience as his students, Mr. Chang is not only familiar with the college and university application process but also understands what students typically go through during this crucial stage in their lives. Moreover, especially with how quickly the world and career trends may change, he is always trying to learn about new and viable opportunities for his students!
Mr. Chang’s current favorite hobbies are music, film, literature, YouTube, video games, manga, memes, and personal finance. He also enjoys working with his students and colleagues at AAIA.

"Learning is superior to anything" - Mr. Doug Tracy (my fourth grade teacher)

Dr. Pei-Ching

Chen

College Counselor

Dr. Chen received a doctoral degree in History from Exeter University, the UK, and a master’s degree in Women’s Studies from Simon Fraser University, Canada. She currently completed the College Counseling Extension Program at the University of California, San Diego.

As a previous historian and gender specialist, Dr. Chen likes to adopt oral history techniques with an empathetic touch to guide students. As a lifetime learner, she loves to expand her expertise in college counseling by attending international conferences, listening to College Essay Guy and Inside the Yale Admissions Office Podcasts, joining college information sessions at midnight, etc. As a dreamer, she hopes all AAIA students can make a positive impact on the community, beginning from helping each other.

During her free time, she loves to do TRX training and aerial yoga. She is also an adventure sports enthusiast who just overcame acrophobia.

“Everybody's scared, but if you don't let your fears stop you, that's bravery.” - Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues

Vincent

Chen

Self-Directed Learning / VHS Teacher

Mr. Chen is a Taiwanese from the city of Chiayi. After receiving both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Economics, Mr. Chen became a teaching assistant (TA) at Soochow University, teaching Microeconomics, Econometrics, Monetary Economics, and Mathematics for Economics. He later majored in Finance at National Chiao Tung University and taught Economics as a TA there. In his seven years of being a teacher at an international school, Mr. Chen is an experienced teacher and has taught many subjects including Pre-calculus, AP Macroeconomics, AP Macroeconomics, and AP Statistics. 

Mr. Chen enjoys watching baseball games, watching movies, and reading books in his free time. He believes that there will always be room for growth and improvement for each.

One day or day one. It's your decision.

Betty

Deng

6th Grade Teacher

Ms. Deng graduated from Simon Fraser University located in B.C., Canada with a Bachelor of Art in Linguistics and a TESOL Certificate. She received her Master’s degree in Education and a Teaching Certificate in Elementary Oversea/International Education from The College of New Jersey.

Ms. Deng has sixteen years of teaching experience in private schools in both Canada and Taiwan. In her teaching years, she was awarded “The Excellent Teaching Award” in Yung-Ho city in year 2004, and Teacher of the Year” in 2015.

“A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart.”

Silvia

Duh

Math/Science Teacher

Ms. Duh was born in Taiwan and grew up in North America. She majored in Anatomy & Cell Biology with a minor in Education at McGill University, Montreal, where she also earned her teaching credential and a M.A in Teaching & Learning with a focus in science and technology.

Ms. Duh is an outgoing person who loves to travel and meet new people. She has a huge passion for exploring new places and eating great food. She is adventurous and always ready to try something new. Her hobbies include painting, swimming, river tracing, and motorcycling.

Ms. Duh has dedicated herself to become a life-long educator and learner. She strives to instill a similar desire in all of the students whom she works with. She emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving, using the science content to develop good evidence-based reasoning and communication skills. She is committed to student success inside of the classroom and in life. Marking her third year of teaching in an international school in Asia, Ms. Duh is super excited to join AAIA and to promote STEM education as it is important to spark an interest in pursuing a STEM career in students.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” - T.S. Eliot

Sharon

Gillette

Social Studies Teacher

Ms. Gillette is originally from Massachusetts and has been teaching for 15 years with the last six at international schools in South Korea and China. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees are both in history and she holds professional certifications in History, Integrated Curriculum, and Gifted Education from the state of Florida.  In addition to teaching, she has been able to use her historical thinking skills to write articles for an online encyclopedia, participate in many history based workshops, and to guide students in their own independent research as part of the National History Day program. Outside of school, Ms. Gillette enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, cooking, and practicing yoga.

If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; If you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.

Amanda

Hamilton

ELA Teacher

Ms. Hamilton graduated from Tulane University with a BA in Anthropology. She set out to be a modern Margaret Mead, but instead became a modern Mrs. Patterson due to the funny way life works. After graduating, she was selected to be a Teach for America Nashville Charter Corps member. Ms. Hamilton taught in Metro Nashville Public School district for four years before moving to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, then venturing to Bahrain to teach internationally.  Finally, Ms. Hamilton landed on the beautiful island of Taiwan in 2018 to teach IB MYP Language and Literature, writing, and head the Writing Department before joining AAIA. 

Ms. Hamilton adores reading fiction and nonfiction, dance parties (solo or with others), podcasts, friends, and nature. She enjoys cooking as well; though, it is best if she cooks with adult supervision. Both Ms. Hamilton and her world-traveling cat, Prince, hope that Taiwan will be their forever home. Ms. Hamilton is ecstatic to join AAIA’s vibrant learning community and happy she can continue to support Prince’s lavish lifestyle simultaneously. 

Ms. Hamilton models her learning and teaching style from her favorite teacher: the aforementioned, formidable Mrs. Patterson. She believes in high expectations, fostering unrelenting curiosity, and being a good human. She turns to Dr. Brene Brown for inspiration on these points and all things learning, leading, and teaching. Ms. Hamilton strives to “stay awkward, brave, and kind,” as Dr. Brown advises. 

“There is always light. If only we are brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.” - Amanda Gorman

Ben

Hildreth

PE Department Head

Ben Hildreth is from a small town in Washington State. He graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a degree in Physical Education. He then proceeded to travel the world and racked up over 82 countries. As he traveled, he has taught snowboarding, swimming and various sports. He then got his Master degree and teaching certification from the college of New Jersey and settled in Taiwan to begin his career. Ben has coached basketball, volleyball, badminton and Ultimate Frisbee while in Taiwan and has a great enthusiasm for all things active and healthy.

“We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” - George Bernard Shaw

Ty

James

Curriculum Coordinator/ELA Teacher

Mr. James has been an educator for over eighteen years. He is a Texas and National Board Certified teacher, with a bachelor’s degree in communication and theatre arts, and a master’s degree concentrating in the teaching of writing, both from Eastern Michigan University. He has taught at the middle school, high school, and community college levels, and also in museum education. Ty has extensive service-learning, advisory, standards-based grading, and team-building experience. He was a Teacher of the Year in 2010 and first moved to Taiwan to teach ESL in 2015.

In 2017 Mr. James and his wife, Ms. Rich, spent 6 months thru-hiking all 3540 kilometers of the Appalachian Trail in the U.S. They have also climbed several of Taiwan’s Top 100 peaks, including Jade Mt., Snow Mt., and Nanyu Mt., and plan to climb many more.

Make good choices.

Dr. Brittney

Judkins

Math/Science Teacher

Dr. Judkins is originally from San Antonio, TX. She received her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in chemistry and mathematics from Texas A&M University, her M.A. in Secondary Education Mathematics from the University of Phoenix, and her Ph.D. in Special Education from Northcentral University. She is currently pursuing a M.S. in Digital Learning and Leading from Lamar University in order to further technology integration in the classroom.

Dr. Judkins is the mother to a 2-year-old girl and an unknown-age cat; both can often be found “helping” her with her school work or lesson designs. Her hobbies include crafting, reading, creative writing, hiking, playing piano, and video gaming (her dissertation was actually on the introduction of video game elements into mathematics).

The year 2020 marks her third year in Taiwan, and second-year teaching in an international school. Prior to moving to Taiwan, she had a decade of teaching experience, primarily in Algebra, but has taught a wide range of math and science subjects. Dr. Judkins’ educational philosophy is guided by the Multiple Intelligence Theory (Gardner) and the growth mindset (Dweck).

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein

Jade

Lee

Guidance Counselor/Health & Wellbeing

Ms. Lee was born and raised in Taiwan. She’s a certified counseling psychologist who earned her degree of Bachelor of Science, Psychology in 2008 from National Chengchi University. Being a mental health lecturer and counselor in New Taipei City back in 2013, she provided individual, peer, and family sessions for teenagers, young adults, and parents in an NGO community center in Taipei to help people with addiction and social-emotional needs. After that, she had five years working with teenagers and families from diverse cultural backgrounds in international schools including KCIS, Hurtwood House, and Nanwai King’s College school in China. She’s currently in her second year of the ICEEFT Emotionally Focused Therapy Training Program.

As a music lover and explorer, Ms. Lee adores the glamorous big band jazz in the 40s and exploring American wild west towns for the frontier spirit. She spends most of her leisure time traveling, exploring new music, enjoying street dance and art. She loves to hear what people have to say, be there for the people in need, and guide them to develop their potential mentally, emotionally and socially in life. She’s also a good secret keeper and students’ well-being is her utmost priority. Ms. Lee is looking forward to joining the AAIA community and meeting with you all!

"The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination." - Carl Rogers

Dr. Ivy

Lin

Music Teacher

Conductor, flutist, educator, Ivy Lin pursues a versatile musical life as a passionate performer and educator. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from University of Washington, a Master of Music Degree from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Music education degree from Taipei University of Education.

As an educator, she had many years of experience teaching in international schools. Within these years, she has produced several musicals as a music director. Seeing students learn and grow is the most rewarding achievement for Dr. Lin.

The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.

Claire

Lin

College Counselor

Ms. Lin was born and raised in Taiwan. She grew up in a loving family and became the combination of the rational and emotional side of her parents. She majored in Communication and doubled minor in Marketing and Media Economics and Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California. Being the Resident Assistant in the freshmen dorm for 3 years, Ms. Lin planned events, provided support, and created a home away from home for the freshmen. After graduation, Ms.Lin worked in various industries such as news media, consulting and ended up finding her passion and devoted herself to education, especially in college and career readiness. 

As someone who has been to Disneyland in California, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Paris, Ms.Lin loves visiting Disney parks and adores traveling. Other than traveling, she enjoys cooking for her loved ones. Even when encountering a few failures, she never gives up. (Being positive is definitely one of her strengths!) The next recipe that she would love to learn is how to make Boba Tea. 

Ms. Lin believes that every student is unique and hopes to accompany each one of them to find the distinguished features within while guiding students to explore the world and structure their own values. As a person who always has a smile on her face, Ms. Lin is more than excited to join the AAIA community and to meet each one of you in person!

Barry

McGhee

Math / Physics Teacher

Mr. McGhee, from Scotland has 15 years’ experience teaching in the U.K. and internationally. Having obtained a BSc in Physics from the University of Glasgow and later a Postgraduate Diploma in Education (Mathematics) from the University of The West of Scotland, he taught in the U.K. before deciding to expand his horizons by gaining experience internationally in Korea, China, Vietnam and now Taiwan.

Throughout his career Mr. McGhee has maintained an interest in integrating technology into the classroom, with the aim of developing independent learners who are at ease with the process of learning by making mistakes. He is a firm believer that given the right environment, resources, support, and time, that anyone can enjoy success in Mathematics. In addition, he is particularly excited about introducing High School Physics at AAIA.

Outside of the classroom, Mr. McGhee enjoys spending time with the people who are most important in his life.

Adolfo

Mejia

Spanish Teacher

Mr. Mejia was born in Honduras in the capital city of Tegucigalpa where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2009. He has worked in Human Resources and in the clinical field before starting his career in Education back in 2014. In Honduras, he worked as a school counselor and Values teacher. In 2017, he moved to Taiwan where he earned a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management Development from Chung Cheng University while also working as a teacher. In his free time he enjoys watching movies, playing basketball, and visiting night markets

“You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” - C. S. Lewis

Megan

Morris

Mathematics Teacher

Ms. Morris grew up in the beach town of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and moved to Chicago for college, where she earned dual Bachelors in Mathematics and Secondary Education. She taught high school math in Chicago for seven years, while also earning her Masters in Educational Leadership from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Ms. Morris loves calculus, social-emotional learning, and finding ways to connect math to social issues. Outside of school, Ms. Morris loves the beach, swimming, cooking, biking, reading, and listening to podcasts.

“Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow. Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human.” - Malala Yousafzai

Ebon

Pinson

EAL Teacher

Mr. Ebon was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan in the USA. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Asian Studies with the hopes of being a Chinese and/or Japanese language interpreter. However, once he taught English as a Second Language (ESL) for a year, he realized that teaching was his passion. Therefore, he pursued his Master’s degree in ESL and his teaching license in the state of New Jersey. He has been teaching for a total of 11 years now.

Mr. Ebon has been living in east Asia for 12 years now, the first 8 of which were in China (Wuhan and Hefei, Anhui Province). He visited Taipei for the first time in 2016, fell in love with the city, and vowed to move here. In 2018, he made that claim a reality. He loves the progressiveness, friendliness, convenience, and natural beauty of Taiwan, namely Taipei City. He plans to settle here and maybe raise a family.

In his spare time, Mr. Ebon has a plethora of hobbies, which include listening to music, studying astrology, cooking, traveling the world, learning languages, getting lost in a city, playing Nintendo Switch (mostly Zelda and Mario games), and all things that involve making genuine connections with others. He is very excited about working at AAIA and hopes to contribute to this caring, thriving community.

"Failure" is just an excuse to start over again, but better, stronger, smarter, and wiser.

Andrea

Rich

Science Teacher

Ms. Rich hails from North Carolina, U.S.A. She has a B.S. in general biology with a minor in anthropology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. This is her second year teaching high school biology and middle school life science at AAIA. She believes education is the most valuable thing a person can have.

Andrea’s interest in science comes from her affinity for the wilderness. She grew up in the Smoky Mountains and thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in the United States (with Mr. Ty James, her husband). She continues to take every opportunity to climb mountains.

 

“The search for knowledge is in our genes. It was put there by our distant ancestors who spread across the world, and it’s never going to be quenched.” - E.O. Wilson

Trinidad

Ruperez

ELA Teacher

Ms. Ruperez was born and raised in Taiwan. She double-majored in English Literature and Spanish at Saint Louis University.  Soon after, she received her M.A in English Literature with a Composition Certificate from California State University, Sacramento. She enjoyed Sac State so much that she continued on to get her teaching certificate through the Bilingual/Multicultural Education Department. 

Ms. Ruperez has recently rediscovered a passion for shrimping and glamping in the wilds of Taiwan. In her spare time, she reads non-fiction books and absolutely loves to cook. Her preferred form of travel is road tripping with friends and delights in finding random spots to watch the sunset. When she is not outside, she is fighting with her cat over who gets the more comfortable spot on the sofa. 

Ms. Ruperez is perpetually fascinated with new ideas and sharing it with those around her. She believes that a humorous, safe, and equitable classroom culture leads to self-motivated life long learners. She also actively invites students to discover how fiction and non-fiction can lead to change in their communities. For that matter, she is quite excited to work with the students, parents, and teachers of AAIA.

“Sharing is caring!”

Bronwen

Shelwell

Art Teacher

Bronwen Shelwell is from South Africa and has lived abroad for over ten years. She received her BA and Masters equivalent PGC in Arts Education from the University of South Africa. Majoring in the glass she has since exhibited in South Africa, Canada, Namibia, Hong Kong, and China. In Johannesburg, she also managed an art gallery and curated a nonprofit platform for emerging artists to show their work. Since living in Asia she has also published on the development of the arts on the continent.

Her teaching philosophy is based on learning how to be independently creative within an openly collaborative learning environment. Arts education focuses on skills development, problem-solving, and concept generation and is one of the most exciting and holistic subjects to learn!

“The very existence of art depends on the exploration of the parts of life which have not yet been opened.” - Anais Nin

Alethea

Simatos

ELA Teacher

Ms. Simatos is a New Zealander who has lived outside New Zealand for the past 20 years. When she was at high school, she wanted to grow up to be a psychologist, Prime Minister of New Zealand, an actor, and an English teacher. She is delighted that one of those dreams became reality and still looks forward to the day when she becomes a famous actor. Ms. Simatos has a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and has been in the education sector for 22 years, as a middle and high school ELA and ESL teacher, a corporate language instructor, as well as several years in educational publishing and teacher training. 

In the classroom, Ms. Simatos likes to help her students develop skills that will help them through all the years of their education and into their careers. She believes that curiosity, asking good questions, and seeing from different perspectives are key to learning and growing.

Since coming to Taiwan four years ago, Ms. Simatos has discovered a love of camping with her husband and her dog. She also has a cat, but the cat isn’t a big fan of camping. Ms. Simatos loves to read fantasy and historical fantasy, do Shakespeare readings with her friends, travel around the world, play RPG games on PlayStation when she has time, and take naps as often as possible.

"Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you." - Walt Whitman

Steve

Sun

EAL Support Teacher

Mr. Sun graduated from the University of California,  Berkeley, with a major in film studies.  In 2000,  he returned to Taiwan and worked for CMPC, a major film company as its official website’s editor.  Then he started teaching English in 2002 at David’s English Center, where he found his love for teaching.

Mr. Sun has always loved learning languages. Besides Chinese and English, he also learned Japanese and Thai. In 2012, he started teaching Mandarin in a language school where traditional Chinese characters are taught in Bangkok, Thailand. He also taught Chinese in simplified characters and participated in some interpretation cases.

Mr. Sun believes in the beauty of communication. Movie is communication; language is also communication. The job of an educator is to lead the learner to appreciating this beauty in a fun,  natural way.

“If you want to make a movie, make it. Don't wait for a grant, don't wait for the perfect circumstances, just make it.” - Quentin Tarantino

Travis

Trojan

Student Liaison/Electives

Mr. Trojan was born and raised in the United States. He double-majored in Chinese Studies and German Studies at Wofford College, where he also earned a certificate in Gender Studies. As a result, Mr. Trojan speaks, writes, and has completed research in Chinese and German (though German is a bit rusty). In addition, Mr. Trojan has earned his Postgraduate Certificate in International Education from the University of Nottingham. 

After graduating from Wofford, Mr. Trojan accepted a Fulbright grant to teach English in Kinmen, Taiwan for two years. During his time in Kinmen, Mr. Trojan learned from his colleagues how to infuse interesting and fun lessons with practical goals and outcomes, which has been a guiding principle of his teaching philosophy to this day. After completing his grant, Mr. Trojan moved to the big island of Taiwan to work as a teacher and administrator at Taoyuan American School for four years. There, he worked as the head of the Middle School and curriculum coordinator, as well as taught Social Studies, Debate, Theatre, Chinese and other courses. During this time, he often worked with students on various activities, as well as academic and social remediation. Now, Mr. Trojan is ready to start a new chapter with AAIA!

In his free time, Mr. Trojan enjoys painting, writing, cartooning, and searching the island for the best stinky tofu! (No, really!) Mr. Trojan is always searching for new hobbies and skills to learn and grow from. Let him know if you have any recommendations!

“If I had not immersed myself in books, in stories and legends, in newspapers, in reports, if everything communicable had not grown up in me, I should have been a nonentity, a collection of uncomprehended events.” - Ingeborg Bachmann

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